Common Misconceptions About the Keto Diet


Nothing can stop the keto diet’s popularity. By now, anyone who is into diets and staying healthy must have heard about the many benefits of this diet plan. These include having less brain fog, better memory, controlled blood sugar levels, and the most popular benefit of all—weight loss. However, the keto diet is not without myths and misconceptions. Before you get to follow the diet, it helps to be more aware of these:


Going on and off on keto still gives you the same weight-loss results.


The truth is that when you go on and off on keto, this will bring back all your lost weight. Keto has become a fad and people tend to join the bandwagon without really getting to know what the diet truly is. This is why some people follow the keto diet one day and load on carbs the next day. You can’t reap the benefits of keto this way. 


Everyone has similar carb requirements.


The carb requirements of individuals vary according to their personal health. You may not be aware of how low the carb requirement is in a keto diet. You have to go as low as 20 to 50 grams of carbs daily. This will bring the body into the state of ketosis. In some cases though, you can go higher perhaps due to physical activity. It’s safer to ask a dietitian who will help calculate your nutritional requirements. Certain individuals with special considerations may not be allowed to follow the keto diet.


Veggies and fruits are prohibited on keto since they are high in carbs. 


The truth is that you have to consume fresh produce to avoid being constipated, which is the usual undesirable effect of keto. Fruits and veggies are good sources of carbohydrates. Yet they must not be avoided still. These unprocessed foods are also sources of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. Fiber is crucial especially when it comes to avoiding constipation. Starchy veggies are recommended by professional dietitians and nutritionists. Examples of these are zucchini, cucumbers, cauliflower, peppers, broccoli, etc. These may also be paired with low-carb fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. 


The keto diet is high in protein.


Keto is low-carb but moderate in protein. Excess protein is converted to glucose, increasing the blood sugar, and pulling your body out of ketosis. The breaking down of amino acids in proteins may also contribute to the ketones. This can cause a problem in those people who already have high levels of ketones in their bodies. 


The keto diet is a healthy and permanent way to weight loss.


The keto diet is a quick way to lose weight, but the diet’s sustainability for a long time has not been proven yet. Since keto is a restrictive diet, most dieters can’t sustain following the diet for a long period of time. The keto diet has not been established as safe and effective when followed for a long time. It is also known for several side effects like keto flu. This condition carries with it flu symptoms such as weakness, headaches, nausea, constipation, vomiting, and frequent urination. The diet also has other adverse effects like constipation, fatigue, loss of electrolytes, and dehydration.


Moreover, the diet also requires high-fat consumption. This may not necessarily be healthy since the fat here may be saturated fat from highly processed foods which can increase the levels of bad cholesterol in the body which in the long run may lead to heart disease or diabetes. To be on the healthy side, make sure that you only consume unsaturated fats from safe sources like avocado, nuts, olive oil, fatty fish, and seeds. 


No need to exercise or exercise is not allowed on the keto diet.


Physical exercise has short-term and long-term benefits, including maintaining a healthy weight and improving the indicators of health such as mood, increased energy, and sleep quality. 


The keto diet has been observed to limit or reduce the performance of high-intensity workouts that require short bursts of energy. This is so because fat takes longer to burn than carbs. Needless to say, exercise is still necessary for people who are on any kind of diet. It would be best to ask a fitness professional or a physician about the type of exercise and the level of intensity to consider. 


Ketosis is the same as ketoacidosis.


These are two largely different conditions. Ketoacidosis is a diabetic complication characterized by having too many ketones in the blood. This only occurs in those who have diabetes or a history of metabolic dysfunction. On the other hand, ketosis is the metabolic state of the body that occurs when the body experiences a shortage of carbs and more supply of fat which prompts the body to switch to fat as a fuel source.


The brain needs carbs.


It’s a common myth about keto that your brain cells require you to consume more carbs. One-third of our brain cells are from glucose. You need not derive glucose from carbs. The truth of the matter is that our bodies cannot produce carbohydrates on our own. When you reduce your carb intake during keto, the body creates this glucose for the brain cells using fats and proteins instead of carbs. This process is known as gluconeogenesis. 


Instead of the usual misconception that keto can starve the brain, it actually has brain health and cognitive benefits. This benefit was first observed when the keto diet was first used on children with drug-resistant epilepsy. Some studies also showed that large areas of the brain are fueled by ketones alone, particularly BHB. This has a positive impact on brain health because of its energy levels. This is so because lots of brain disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are caused by a deficiency in brain cell energy production.


Keto is bad for the kidneys.


One popular myth about keto is that a low-carb diet can harm the kidneys. This comes with another misconception that keto is a high-protein diet, and too much protein is damaging to the kidneys. But as mentioned earlier, the keto diet is moderate in protein and high in fat. When your kidneys are healthy, your body can handle high amounts of protein without any problem. Even when you have a kidney problem, a low-carb and high-fat diet is not likely to cause any adverse effects. 

What do you think?